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Money Shot (Angel Dare #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,804 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews

It all began with the phone call asking former porn star Angel Dare to do one more movie. Before she knew it, she'd been shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car. But Angel is a survivor. And that means she'll get to the bottom of what's been done to her even if she has to leave a trail of bodies along the way...

Mass Market Paperback, 250 pages
Published February 2008 by Hard Crime Case (first published 2008)
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Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukA Clockwork Orange by Anthony BurgessAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis1984 by George OrwellThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Best Transgressive Fiction
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1984 by George OrwellDracula by Bram StokerAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeFrankenstein by Mary Shelley
Quality Dark Fiction
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 28, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: hardcase, cool-covers
When you shoot a woman and leave her in the trunk of a car, you'd better make sure she's dead...

Former porn star and current talent agency owner Angel Dare is duped into meeting an old friend, beaten, raped, shot, and left for dead in the trunk of a Honda Civic, all because of some missing money she knows nothing about. But Angel doesn't die and, with the help of an ex-cop named Malloy, goes looking for those responsible...

Money Shot is a quick read, full of action and suspense, as befits its pl
Feb 04, 2015 Lynda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hardboiled, Hard Case Crime lovers
It's often said that the most sensitive part of your body during a porn session is your ears - no one likes getting busted with their undies around their ankles.

Well, no-one that is, unless you're Angel Dare.
”I’m sure you’re wondering what a nice girl like me was doing left for dead in the trunk of a piece of shit Honda Civic out in the industrial wasteland east of downtown Los Angeles. Or maybe we’ve met before and you’re wondering why it hadn’t happened sooner.

My name’s Gina Moretti, but you
Richard Vialet
This is an awesome little pulp crime novel set deep in the porn industry community of Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, which also happens to be where I lay my head at night! It follows Angel Dare, a former porn star who now runs an agency for new talent. One night she gets a call to shoot one last scene and she can't resist the urge to prove that she's still got it. But the shoot turns out to be a front and she winds up shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car and framed for murder. She th ...more
Mar 24, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Christa Faust's Money Shot is the first Hard Case Crime original I've read, and it's a doozy. Some have complained that the new paperback originals that Hard Case publish are too self-conscious, and work too hard at recreating all the conventions of pulp narratives from the '40s, '50s, and '60s without taking the time to think about whether or not those conventions might work in a modern setting, or even why they may have worked in the first place, but this is definitely not the case with Money ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

"Coming back from the dead isn't as easy as they make it seem in the movies."

Hard Case Crimes have been hit or miss with me. Most I find good but not many great. I know there's more out there waiting for me to discover and fall in love with them - I've read about five (sad number).

Angel is a retired porn star who currently keeps afloat by running a company of working women for the entertainment industry. After receiving a phone call from a director she respects and trusts, she agrees to do one l
Dec 13, 2011 Mohammed rated it liked it
Shelves: noir
It all began with the phone call asking former porn star Angel Dare to do one more movie. Before she knew it, she'd been shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car.

When i read that part of the synopsis i thought no way im gonna get a book that sounds so clichè,so far from my taste. The cool cover pose with the gun, the female author being a contemporary noir author is what made me try this.

I liked Angel Dare despite her porn star name sounds silly. She had a strong voice,attitude that made her
Sep 19, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from the cool name and cover, what really took this story to the next level for me was Angel Dare. Needless to say, Christa Faust knows how to spin a tale with a strong, capable heroine (not to be confused with the substance that might have been consumed by sex slave workers). The story clipped along like a Greyhound on I-70 in the middle of Colorado. Angel knows how to deal with the pond scum in the sex slave trade and porn business, and she can take a beat down about as well as any red-b ...more
Dec 16, 2015 F.R. rated it liked it
Trying to explain what I was currently reading to my wife, I described the passage I’d then reached thus: “The former porn star who is in our heroine is at the home of another former porn star, one who is washed up and drugged out, trying to get a current porn star – this one drugged up and paranoid – to leave the bathroom, before a third former porn star comes back.”

My wife looked at me with baffled disapproval. But really, I can think of no better description for the level of exaggerated, over
The Shayne-Train
Dec 26, 2014 The Shayne-Train rated it really liked it
This was a great, fast-paced, and well-written noir romp.

Heh heh, I said romp. I used that word because this particular "detective story" is set in the word of the SoCal porn industry. And the word "romp" is a sexy-sex-sex word to me.

I highly enjoyed the fact that this particular seedy story had a female protagonist/narrator. Angel Dare is both the damsel AND the "hero."

This hits all the right noir-ish notes: dirty back alleys, untraceable pistols, suitcases full of moolah, bad dudes with grea
Sep 19, 2012 Tfitoby rated it liked it
Shelves: black-as-night
Read on plane from Doha to London, full review may follow

Full of potential this Hard Case Original from Christa Faust reads like the anti-Megan Abbott of modern female written noir. Whereas Abbott focuses on the domestic life of her female characters Faust has a protagonist who used to be a porn star and tries acting like a male action star.

I wish it could have hit the height my imagination had in mind but still a highly enjoyable pulp read.
Oct 14, 2011 brian rated it really liked it
if it wasn't enough that quentin tarentino said that "christa faust is a Veronica in a world of Betties", how about that b. gottlieb says she's the sleaziest, toughest, pulpiest crime writer out there?
i think i'm in love.
Jul 15, 2009 Vickie rated it it was amazing
I feel like I should put on some chili red lipstick and shake out a cigarette before I start this review. I left the chili red lipstick at home and I don't smoke, so I'll do the best I can.
MONEY SHOT is a no holds barred, don't get attached to anyone kind of book. Under normal description, this could be a cozy mystery...the main character is not a detective and finds herself having to investigate the hell that her life has become through no fault of her own. Except cozy mystery writers tend to
Jan 20, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it
I dove right into this book, hoping that Faust achieved the same wonders that I found in her book, "Hoodtown." The prose pulled me in right away, as did the makings of the mystery. Faust quickly drops her heroine in the shit, and I braced myself for a brutal comeback culminating in bloody, bloody revenge.

Fifty pages later, I felt stuck. The good prose was still there, along with the makings of a deeper mystery, but something about the heroine's place in the story kept me at a distance. Angel Dar
Feb 22, 2008 Andy rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Walmart and Payless Shoes porn
Shelves: hard-case-crime
I hate porn puns and I hate product placements all through the book for Target and Walmart and Payless Shoes and it was a slimy, gross book anyway and I didn't care what happened to the tough as nails porn star and I don't know who was a bigger whore, the porn star or the author for shilling for all these white trash consumer dungeons.
Sep 12, 2009 Gregory rated it liked it
This is viceral fiction (I mean emotionally driven rather than crude). There's such an ugly cast of characters here (the 3 P's: pornstars, prostitutes, and psychopaths). The revenge motive drives the entire second half of the book. This is justice given out by the injured party which usually isn't pretty and in this case, it's really unpleasant. Faust pushed the limits of my taste at certain points as she almost seemed to relish sticking the reader's nose into the cesspool of humanity (human sla ...more
I expected to like this more than I did. Overall the story was good, almost 4 stars, but the heroine's motivations degraded it. On the plus side, there was a wonderfully gritty trip through the porn industry & some memorable characters that were quickly, but well sketched. Our heroine was strong, tough & capable. Lots of action & sexual tension. Not much actual sex & what there was didn't detract from the story. It didn't read like a porn novel, which would have been very easy to ...more
Feb 15, 2008 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I didn't like this one as much as I'd hoped to. It starts out well with the kind of female protagonist I like. The book opens with Gina Moretti, a former porn star (stage name Angel Dare) narrating. She's beaten, bound and gagged in the trunk of a car. She flashes back to how she ended up in this predicament and the book takes off from there. The problems I had were that the plot isn't very plausible. She's on the run for a murder she didn't commit. Her gun was used in an execution style murder ...more
May 25, 2009 Ed rated it really liked it
Diverting noirish romp in the adult film industry, featuring the wiescracking, smart, and tough Angel Dare. Dedicated to the late Richard S. Prather and filled with his wry humor.
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Gina Moretti, aka Angel Dare, is a retired porn star who has since started her own agency, Daring Angels, for other girls in the biz. She helps them navigate the, er, ins and outs of an industry that can sometimes take advantage of the unwary and considers herself something of a protector of her girls. One day, Angel gets a call from an old friend, Sam Hammer, who she has worked with extensively in the past and trusts, to
Tim Mayer
Dec 22, 2009 Tim Mayer rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read by Christa Faust (see top photo), but I don't think it will be the last. It's also the second I've encountered from Hard Case Crime. If this is any indication of the publisher's abilities, I may have a new addiction. There has been a lot of chatter on the Net as to how Hard Case has spark plugged the noir genre and I'm starting to believe it. Hard Case is specializing in releasing new classics from masters old(Lester Dent) and new(Jason Starr).
Money Shot begins w
Mr. Matt
Dec 10, 2013 Mr. Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: pulp-fiction, 2013
Money Shot is at heart a story of revenge and retribution. Angel Dare (an ex-porn star turned adult model agency owner) is swept up into a broader conspiracy. She is tricked into a compromising position by an old friend, shot and then left for dead in the trunk of a beat up car.

All I can say is that if you kill someone you had better make sure that they are dead. Angel spends the remainder of the book tracking down the people who wronged her and then exacting her revenge - all while getting to
Timothy Hallinan
May 06, 2010 Timothy Hallinan rated it it was amazing
Rules of disclosure require that I tell you I had lunch with Christa once, but other than that I don't know her from Eve. But I'll read anything she writes in the future. This is noir so dark you can barely see the white on the page, and also (not often, but often enough) very funny. Angel Dare is a former porn star, now retired from on-camera skinwork and running an agency for, um, talent in the adult film and strip-club industries. Called out to make one final appearance as a favor to the dire ...more
Feb 14, 2008 Kirk rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-if-frivolous
This is the one I joined HCC for and I've been digging it. Admittedly, I haven't gotten very far bc The Man insists I pull my shifts for a living, but the 70 pages I've been through have been excellent---witty, bawdy, fast-paced, lotsa action. You gotta love a book with a dead man named Sam Hammer and a heroine who keeps comparing her various injuries to the titles of her checkered porn oeuvre. Fun indeed.

UPDATE: Well, I just finished it. Snap cracklin' fun. The plot's a little bland and I didn'
Sep 01, 2013 Curtis rated it really liked it
Was looking for an over the top, fast paced crime novel when I came across Money Shot. The premise, a porn star waging a violent vendetta after a failed attempt on her life, sounded promising. Of course it's the kind of idea that could be a literary train wreck if told by a clumsy writer. Lucky for crime fans like myself, Christa Faust has some serious writing chops,
The book is fast paced and witty- a quick and enjoyable read. Faust's protagonist offers an interesting and fresh perspective to th
Sep 28, 2012 Jack rated it it was amazing
MONEY SHOT is an excellent modern pulp novel by Christa Faust. I must confess I am not a crime reader. For me it has to be horror. But I recently read IT DRINKS BLOOD by JF Gonzalez, not a crime book but a 30's style pulp horror novel. I had read COLORADO KID by Stephen King on the Hard Case crime label, and I knew splatter legend Dave Schow had also been published by Hard Case, so I flipped on Amazon and gambled on MONEY SHOT. An excellently written, fast paced novel set in the LA porn scene. M ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Ladiibbug rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Hard Case Crime

Nominated: Edgar Award - Best Paperback Original 2009

A kind friend sent this as a gift (thanks, Donna!). I placed it on my wish list after seeing it had been nominated for an Edgar Award (mysteries).

This was just too sleazy and violent for me. The book is centered in the Los Angeles porn industry. The characters are mostly broken down, abused, lowlife former porn "stars". I couldn't relate or care about any of them. There is so much violence - yech. The crime is intriguing but I
Apr 29, 2012 Mark rated it liked it
Faust dedicates this book to Richard Prather, which pretty much says it all. MONEY SHOT is a fast read, occasionally bogged down by cliches, and at times a witty, original voice threatens to break through. Faust knows the subculture (the adult film industry), and that experience offers some freshness to what would otherwise be a fairly unremarkable book. But the bright spots are bright enough for me to give Faust's second book a read at some point.
Mark Plaid
Nov 25, 2008 Mark Plaid rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cool people
The only female author of a Hard Case Crime Novel and it kicks ass! The first person perspective writing of an ex-porn star turned adult film agent who gets involved in some dirty underworld dealings is amazingly vibrant and every bit as hard edged as Lawrence Block, Max Phillips, or Max Allan Collins. Angel Dare is one of my new favorite characters. If this is an example of Faust's usual writing style, I'll read anything she writes.
Brandon Nagel
Jul 05, 2013 Brandon Nagel rated it it was amazing
Fantastic noir thrill ride through the underbelly of porn/prostitution. Amazing female protagonist with some of the best bad guys in the genre. If you mare not familiar with Faust's work, this is an excellent starting place. Definitely will be reading the next book starring Angel Dare in the near future. Dark, violent, nasty, and gritty. Just how I like it. Great read and one of my favorite Hard Case books to date.
Aug 03, 2009 Bruce rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of noir fiction
Recommended to Bruce by: Steven Hager
I enjoyed the book, a lot. I couldn't put it down. My only criticism is that it just sort of ends with a whimper. Probably a more realistic ending than I was expecting, but a bit dissapointing nontheless. But please don't let that stop you from enjoying the book. Faust rushes headlong forward and it's a great ride.
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Christa Faust is an American author who writes original novels, as well as novelizations and media tie-ins.
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Angel Dare (2 books)
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“Eventually, morning came instead of bad guys. That was the thing about mornings. No matter how fucked up your life got, how deep and black your despair, how sure you were that you just couldn't take another second of this shit, morning just kept on coming. Over and over. Morning didn't give a damn about your little drama.” 0 likes
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